Barnegat Light, N.J. Photography Hot Spot Location

  • Barnegat-Light-Milky-Way-New-Jersey
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The only bags we use! That should say it all.

How You Brewin?

Barnegat Light Photography Hot Spot Milky Way


Great Coffee at a Great Price!

Where to go for coffee before milky way photography on Long Beach Island, you ask? This is the only place to go in this area. How you Brewing? The coffee at the Inlet Deli on Broadway was very weak compared to the perfect cup of coffee you will get here. At the Inlet Deli, the breakfast sandwich was expensive and not filling. The Anti-President soda cans on the counter were offensive, and the overall experience was not fabulous. The coffee and the lack of eggs on the egg sandwich is the reason we will not return. Considering lunch meat is a cancer causer, we would not go here for lunch either. There is a restaurant next to the lighthouse, but they only take cash.

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How to Shoot Milky Way and Night Sky Photography

What you will need:

Light pollution map – light pollution map

Camera – You will need a camera that you can manually control your ISO, shutter speed, and aperture.

Lens – A fast wide-angle lens of 1.4 – 2.8 is ideal. If you use a 3.5 or higher (slower lens), you will have to increase the ISO. The higher the ISO, the more grain or digital noise or grain that will appear in your photos.

Tripod – A good sturdy tripod is essential for night photography. If it gets windy, you will need a sturdy one. Keep that in mind, when you buy one, it should be sturdy enough to withstand the wind but small enough to fit in your suitcase.

Sky Map – Sky Guide is available through the iTunes Store for $1.99. It has a 5 out of 5-star rating on both the current (3.2) version (1200+ ratings) and all previous versions (8600+ ratings).

Flashlight –  Our choice is Coast brand for flashlights. The ideal flashlight will have high lumens, and you will be able to zoom the in and out on the amount of light emitting from the flashlight. Get the HP7, PX45, or the G50. Ideally, go with the  HP7.

Moon Phaze Map – The best time to go is during a new moon, and you want to be in the darkest area possible. The week before the new moon, when the moon has not risen, is a perfect time to go, so be sure to check the moonrise chart to see when the moon will be up.

Remote Shutter Release – When painting with light and you want to go over a 30-second exposure, you must have a shutter release to use your bulb mode. When exposing your pictures in general, you can use the remote release, or you can use your camera’s built-in two-second timer.

Milky Way Photography

Use a Tripod – First of all, you must be on a tripod. A good sturdy tripod is necessary if it is windy. If the tripod moves, your picture will blur.

Focus – Use live view.  To focus in the dark, use your camera’s live view, hit the zoom button, and focus on a bright star. You can also use the infinity setting on your lens but do several test shots to see if it is accurate. It can be off a little on some lenses. You can also light it up with a flashlight, focus, then gently without touching the focus ring, put the camera in manual focus so it will not search for the focus. You would have to do this each time you move your camera to take your next angel.

ISO – Start with ISO 1600 – 3200.  This is just a common starting point, and you will adjust from here.

Shutter Speed – Remember, the earth is rotating. If you leave the shutter open for too long, you will see star trails that will not make for a crisp image. We want crisp non-star trail images. Here is the formula to avoid star trails. The 500 rule – Divide 500 by the focal length of your lens. So, if you have a 24mm lens on a full-frame camera, you will set your shutter speed to 20 sec. (500/24 = 20.83). If you are using a crop sensor camera, first do the math of the crop sensor to find the focal length. Cannon is 1.6, Nikon is 1.5. Convert to full-frame focal length then use the formula. Nikon 18mm x 1.5= 27mm – 500/27 = 18.51 seconds.

Aperture – Depth of field isn’t critical on these shots, but letting the light into the camera is; therefore you should shoot wide open if. If the depth of field is essential to you, try not to go to high. (wide open =the lowest aperture your camera will allow). You will have to increase the ISO some, which will give you digital noise.

Some white balance suggests; when in live view mode, you can change your white balance settings and see what it will look like. You can shoot in shade or cloud mode as a standard-setting and adjust things later.

When to view the Milkyway

The best images are usually of the dense part of the Milky Way. We can see this part of the milk way in the southern sky. During March, April, and May, the milky way rises above the horizon in the pre-dawn hours. In June, at about 10:00 p.m., you will see the milky way.  From July until October, you can see the milky way as soon as the sunsets, and it becomes dark enough to see, which is about an hour after sunset. In November, the milky way no longer comes above the horizon. You will have to wait until March if you want to stay away really late or get up early to see her again.

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Park and Area Information:

Barnegat Lighthouse State Park

Entrance Fees: None

The 32-acre park was created in 1957. The main attraction is the lighthouse, which you can climb for one dollar during the summer season. Parking is free. Climb to the top to see the surrounding area.

The lighthouse is open (weather permitting) every day from April 1 through October 31, 9 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. From April 1 through October 31 it is open from 9 AM to 3:30 PM, Wednesday through Sunday.

Don’t park in the parking lot to do milky way photography. Park just outside of it. They lock the gates at night. You can stay in the park all night long. We met a new friend while doing milky way photog here and he was considering staying until sunrise.

A must-see when visiting Long Beach Island.

Photography Magazine Extra Pam Goodyer

The North Shore Inn Barnegat Light, N.J.

This Motel offers you everything you need immaculate rooms, great management at one of the best prices in the area. Look no further.

This is our choice for motels in the Barnegat Light area.We highly recommend you stay here!

The inn has spacious rooms with air conditioning/heat, secure and FREE wireless internet, cable TV, and daily maid service.
All rooms have convenient outside access and are ALL non-smoking.

Most people who come to the north end of the island are looking to have a quiet,  relaxing stay.  They accomplish this. Our stay was peaceful and relaxing around our photography journey.

Barnegat Light Photography Hot Spot Milky Way


Daymark Restaurant

We had a great experience at the Daymark Restaurant in Barnegat Light. It was only a block or so from our milky way night photography location at the lighthouse. The restaurant had a very modern, elegant style, and the service was outstanding!

What made our experience special, aside from our top-notch service, was the manager. He took a great interest in our desire to see some more vegetarian type dishes on the menu. He had a passion for him to bring and excellence to this business. He listened intently to suggestions and showed his devotion to the company. We enjoyed speaking with someone who showed genuine concern and had an outstanding work ethic, one of a caliber that is hard to come by.

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Nothing too close.

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